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#1386954 - 03/02/10 11:30 PM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: Betty Patnude]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
To add a bit to the college scholarship question:

One college respresentative told us that they just don't know which instruments will be plentiful in any particular year. Some years, it seems they have all violas. The next year, everyone plays clarinet. We discovered several schools along the way that seemed a bit short on violins. My daughter was awarded scholarship money for violin at 4 different universities. This was not her intended major; the money was offered because they needed violinists in their orchestra.

Obviously, if you are intent on being a performer, you want the strongest program you can get into. So does everyone else, so competition will be intense, and the money may not follow. And music kids applying to Ivy League schools (which don't give scholarships) don't have much of an edge, either - that is a very common pursuit of Ivy-caliber kids.

But a high level of competency on an instrument - any instrument (there's a school in Ohio that likes bagpipes!) - can translate into scholarship if you are flexible enough to consider schools that need you.

If you are serious about hoping for scholarship money, my recommendation is to choose a versatile instrument that the student likes, buy or rent a decent instrument, and invest in some private lessons. Just like with piano.
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#1387081 - 03/03/10 08:03 AM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: John v.d.Brook]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook

A college of music, within the university, may need certain instrumentalists to fill out their student orchestra. Those are most likely to receive financial grants.


If this orchestra has 20 violins and there are 40 students major in violin, I assume the top 20 students will be in this orchestra and receiving financial grants?

How about piano major students? Since there is only one piano in an orchestra, what kind of financial grants a piano major student could get? PianoDad's son is probably one of the top pianists in his age group and PianoDad seems to hope to get scholarship from French horn? And if he does, does it mean PianoSon needs to major in horn and minor in piano?

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#1387084 - 03/03/10 08:11 AM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: Lollipop]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: Lollipop
And music kids applying to Ivy League schools (which don't give scholarships) don't have much of an edge, either - that is a very common pursuit of Ivy-caliber kids.


I was hoping it might help on the college (non-music) application. So even you are in the all state orchestra or winning some competitions won't help at all?

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#1387087 - 03/03/10 08:15 AM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: C.Y.]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: C.Y
If this orchestra has 20 violins and there are 40 students major in violin, I assume the top 20 students will be in this orchestra and receiving financial grants?


I doubt it. If there are that many violins, they don't need to give scholarships. Just because you are in the orchestra does not mean you get a scholarship. In my D's case, I think there are only about 11-14 violins total. The money is used to attract more.

Quote:
How about piano major students? Since there is only one piano in an orchestra, what kind of financial grants a piano major student could get?


A excellent collaborative piano student might well get a scholarship, with expectation that he/she participate in chamber music or be available for accompanying. As for other piano students, it depends upon what the school needs. Do they need to fill up the piano studio? Otherwise, I doubt playing the piano will directly = money. Usually music departments have x number of dollars that they have to share. Committee meetings are held as various studio teachers argue for the students they want. A studio that has many applicants is not going to be able to get a large share of the money, unless there is someone truly outstanding.

Quote:
PianoDad's son is probably one of the top pianists in his age group and PianoDad seems to hope to get scholarship from French horn? And if he does, does it mean PianoSon needs to major in horn and minor in piano?


Good horn players are hard to come by. Good pianists less so. A scholarship might well be associated with his willingness to participate in orchestra, but not necessarily to major in music. In my daughter's case, she applied as a non-major, and they told her they would up the offer if she would consider majoring. Since she was "undecided" as her major anyway, she decided to give it a try.

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#1387105 - 03/03/10 08:48 AM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: Lollipop]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
The following link shows the number of entries, by instrument, for the ABRSM grade exams during 2009.

It gives some perspective to the popularity of various instruments though it gives no indication of the grades involved.

http://www.abrsm.org/?page=press/factfile/instrument.html

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#1387136 - 03/03/10 09:25 AM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: John_B]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10406
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
PianoDad seems to hope to get scholarship from French horn? And if he does, does it mean PianoSon needs to major in horn and minor in piano?


Piano*Dad just hopes that eldest son wants to continue his music participation in some fashion when he gets to the university level. At this point, Piano*Son has no interest in a music concentration. I suspect history, international relations, economics, or some other social science will command his attention. Music may wind up being a 'minor' or merely an extracurricular pursuit. That's fine with me.

But, .... there is always a but ....

... he hopes (as do I) that his musical resumé will help in two ways. First, it should send a strong signal to most schools that the applicant isn't simply a grade drudge; that in fact he has some depth beyond the conformity of the average high school classroom. This is important, even at those ivy league schools. All schools need multiple criteria for deciding how to craft the best incoming freshman class that they can create. You can bet that a DVD of his best performances (on piano, and hopefully on horn as well) will be a part of his application packet, as will a fact sheet listing what he has accomplished.

From talking with music faculty members, we already know that when a DVD from an applicant crosses their desks, if they like what they see they can weigh in with the admissions office to give that applicant a bump in the rankings.

Secondly, there are indeed very good programs out there that will spend some money on students who bring an attractive package of skills to their campus. This is clearly more likely at second tier schools that are striving to move up than at places that are already the most highly selective (like Yale, for instance).

Music is part of that package of skills.

How much will schools offer besides admission? That's clearly idiosyncratic. Once you get beyond general merit scholarships because the school simply wants you, I strongly suspect it is driven by needs for less common instruments, and by how much value the institution places on having a good orchestra, wind ensemble, etc. It'll also be driven by the type of school it is (i.e. does it have a full performance degree program or not). You have to do some homework to find out what schools want, what scholarships they offer, and what commitments they expect in return.

In our case, scholarships based on musical ability would be nice, but they're not likely to be the only, or even the main, rationale for looking at a particular school. General merit scholarships are our primary hope. Specific music scholarships are fine as long as they don't fully bind the student to a very specific academic path (music performance major on horn, for instance).
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#1387145 - 03/03/10 09:37 AM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: Piano*Dad]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10406
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Lollipop
Good horn players are hard to come by. Good pianists less so. A scholarship might well be associated with his willingness to participate in orchestra, but not necessarily to major in music.


A program that was attractive to us for other reasons (strong academic departments in my son's areas of interest) would rise above other schools if scholarship money were forthcoming on the basis of a gentle commitment like that.
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#1388166 - 03/04/10 03:35 PM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: Betty Patnude]
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1263
Loc: Tomball, Texas
Both of my kiddos played trumpet in band. My daughter was always more the musician and inevitably was 1st chair throughout HS, only swapping off briefly with one of her guy friends. What a band program will do is hook your kids up with some really decent other young people, at a time in their lives when that is really a good thing. There are many social activities and "the band" becomes a real force in their lives in a very positive way. I will admit that the band is not an orchestra. Our small town did not have one. Yes, the football games can be monotonous, but the kiddos give it their all and there are of course band only concerts with better repertoire. My daughter also played keyboard there as well on occasion. The kids tend to build relationships that last,and even though my daughter is 10 years out of HS at this point, she still has "band friends".

I have had some of my students that applied to college on two instruments, so there are no liabilities that I can see.

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#1388389 - 03/04/10 09:16 PM Re: Piano Student, playing piano and playing a band instrume [Re: John Pels]
drm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 37
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: John Pels
Both of my kiddos played trumpet in band......... The kids tend to build relationships that last,and even though my daughter is 10 years out of HS at this point, she still has "band friends".



I appreciate you and the others sharing your children's and students' experiences with the band. The social connection is really what I would like for him and I am glad to hear that playing both piano and a band instrument is viewed so favorably. Thank you again.

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